It now looks as if the BBC has officially dropped the mayoral debate theme from Thursday's Question Time in Romford so we now know what has happened. One or possibly more of the candidates, most probably Ken Livingstone, had refused to take part if Carlos was involved. The BBC instead of then moving the other candidates, including Carlos, onto the main panel in their place has pulled the show completely.
I've thought about putting in an FOI request to the BBC but undoubtedly they will hide behind the editorial decision clause which means they can cover the whole scandal up. Amazing to think is it not that in France one in five people vote for nationalist policies yet in Britain the state-controlled broadcaster still refuses to allow the people an effective democratic choice.
Still the BBC have no choice themselves in broadcasting tonight's BNP GLA broadcast at 18:55 on BBC1 London and at the same time on Radio London 94.7. ITV will be beating them to it, putting out our 5 minute programme at 18:25.
No surprise to see the Guardian, in its haste to besmirch the BNP, making a rather embarrassing gaffe. Once again though this demonstrates exactly what kind of climate we live in :
In a Diary item about the presence of blogs by Carlos Cortiglia, the BNP's mayoral candidate, on the Jewish Chronicle website we stated that the blogs were still available on 23 November. We went on to say that this "conflicts" with the account of the Jewish Chronicle's editor, Stephen Pollard, "that he became aware of Cortiglia's blog and deleted all trace of it 'last September'". To clarify: he told the Guardian's reporter that "in September we were alerted to the fact that Cortiglia had set up a user blog and the moment we were told, we blocked him and changed [the] entire system". Mr Pollard has asked us to point out that this was not meant to imply that all traces of the blogs had been deleted in September – in fact the measure he took at that time was to block Cortiglia's access. He ordered the blogs to be deleted more recently (20 April, page 35).
Meanwhile Marine Le Pen's huge vote across France on Sunday has set many talking about the fallacy of globalism and free trade. Dominic Lawson in the Independent and one or two Telegraph blogs also focus on the subject of nationalist economics this morning.
Assuming that they are right (and bookmakers tend to be), this is a beautifully clear demonstration of the truth that, at the fringes, the terms left and right can be highly misleading. In this case, the anti-capitalist rhetoric of Hollande will appeal to many of those who previously voted for Marine Le Pen: distrust, even hatred of international commerce, is something that ultra-nationalist parties share with the far left – and not only in France. Anyone who has troubled to read the manifestos of the British National Party will have found many policies almost indistinguishable from those put forward by, for example, Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party.
The BNP calls for the renationalisation of privatised industries and rejects what it calls "the globalisation scam". It says that "the owners of industry should work and the workers should own. Strong trade unions are vital to protect the workers from exploitation." Most recently, the BNP candidate for the London Mayoral elections, Carlos Cortiglia, has spoken of the need for "socialist principles" in the public services. Students of history will see no paradox in this. As FL Carsten observed in The Rise of Fascism, "Mussolini had a profound contempt for those whose overriding ambition was to be rich. It was, he thought, a kind of disease. He declared he was fighting the socialists, not because of their socialism "but because they were anti-national". Mussolini's British imitator, Oswald Mosley, left the Labour Party because it had rejected his plans for vast public expenditure on "investment", combined with outright protectionism: his New Party, soon to become the British Union of Fascists, set out exactly such a programme.